TUBE UNION RMT today hit back at a barrage of lies, smears and spin from tube chiefs designed to mislead both the public and staff as to the lethal impact that planned cuts to tube staffing and services will have on safety and accessibility to London Underground services as demand continues to surge and the network struggles to cope.
Talks will resume later today but RMT has set out to demolish a catalogue of bogus and misleading arguments pumped out by the politicised, tax-payer funded TFL spin machine;
* LUL have pumped out the spurious line that "we won't push fares up to keep open Ticket offices" despite the fact that fares continue to increase and ignoring the fact that there has been a pay explosion amongst senior managers at the top of the company as their numbers also rise while those at the service end are lined up to take a kicking.
* Transport Commissioner Sir Peter Hendy, and his boss Mayor Johnson, are on record promising a station by station review of the cuts and closures programme. However, in the talks it has become clear that LUL are terrified of any serious review . An RMT request that all stations should be visited by local management along with union reps has been ignored despite the promises right from the very top.
* Despite all the spin and rhetoric about modernisation it is crystal clear that the only motivation of the cuts and closures plan is to save money . Essentially the workforce that is left behind after the cuts will be relocated to roles on lower salaries than existing grades and will be expected to be shifted to anywhere from one side of London to the other with a cut in pay thrown in for good measure.
* The LU/TFL media strategy is clear; make fake concessions, create allusions of demands being met while in fact they are now proposing to take hundreds more staff out the front line than planned, reduce the head count by 953, close every single ticket office and increase the workload of the staff left behind while cutting their pay by up to £12,000 a year.
While the talks continue today RMT is reminding the public of the strike action that the union has been forced to take to defend jobs, safety and services in the face of TFL/LU's cash-driven assault:
All our members, excluding Fleet staff, not to book on for any shifts that commence between:-
• 21:00 hours on Monday 28th of April 2014 until 20:59 hours on Wednesday 30th April 2014; and
• 21:00 hours on Monday 5th of May 2014 until 20:59 hours on Thursday 8th of May 2014.
All members employed in the Fleet grades will be instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between:-
• 18.30 hours on Monday 28th of April 2014 until 18.29 hours on Wednesday 30th April 2014; and
• 18.30 hours on Monday 5th of May 2014 until 18.29 hours on Thursday 8th of May 2014.
RMT Acting General Secretary Mick Cash said:
"While talks continue today it does no one any favours that the TFL management have resorted to spinning politically-motivated lies and smears at the same time as they have reneged on their promises for a full and thorough station by station review of the cuts and closures. RMT is demanding that that process be put back on track with the cuts juggernaut halted.
“Staff are furious that while senior management pay and staffing levels are being allowed to roar ahead the jobs and pay of the core, station based staff who are the interface with the travelling public are being torn to ribbons. The assurances that were given at the time RMT suspended the original action for a proper evaluation of the cuts plans have been ripped up and thrown back in our faces.
“RMT has had no option but to put on further strike action in the expectation that the management will now halt these dangerous cuts plans and engage in meaningful and serious talks on the future of a tube network running at full tilt, with further demands in the pipeline, which needs more staff and not less to operate safely